Thursday, 5 January 2017

"Would you like me to read that to you?"

I asked quietly. 
There are a number of people who visit our local shopping centre who wear "VIP" badges. In this case "VIP" denotes a "visually impaired person". 
Most of the shopping centre staff are good about helping them when necessary but they don't always have time to stop and ask if someone needs help. Other people tend to just pass by. I doubt some of them notice the badge. There will be others who feel hesitant about offering to help.
I know several of the VIP badge holders by sight but I don't know any of them well. We tend to shop at different times. I go early they go later - when someone can get them there.
Yesterday though I was there at the same time as one of them, someone I hadn't seen before. He'd obviously been to do a fasting blood test early and was now trying to read the menu stuck to the window of one the small eating areas.
He turned to me with a relieved smile and said
    "I'm new around her and I didn't want to bother them unnecessarily. Is this the best place to have something?"
     "Not really. There's a better place for breakfast just up the ramp. I'm going that way," I told him, "I'll introduce you to the girl in charge up there."
I took him up and we waited for a moment. Then I opened my mouth to introduce him but, before I could, she said, "Mr R........! Remember me? I was in your class at...."
I left them talking animatedly. I dropped a prescription in at the chemist for the Senior Cat and, on my way  back, I saw her. She gave me a thumbs up. 
Mr R.... was reading a menu - a large print menu. I hadn't noticed before but she told me later,
      "I had them all done like that because of the VIPs. I did it because I remembered Mr R...from school. He couldn't see too well then and it's worse now. I don't mind telling people what's there but it's much nicer if those who can still read can do it for themselves."
It's a nice little place - always busy. You can see why.

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